Hard to Swallow
So you might have heard this story: Last month, a woman in Missouri went to the hospital having swallowed
her cell phone.
She'd attempted this, apparently, to keep it away from her boyfriend. Stupid? Hard to believe? Well, yes. But if the odds are 6 billion to one against something like that, then I guess it'll happen sooner or later. Besides, there's no shortage
of people doing stupid things.
Still, this might not have been as cut and dried as first glance. Later articles revealed some doubt
about the details -- and once the woman could speak again, she reported that her boyfriend had, in fact, forced it
down her throat.
Mildy interesting -- but as I read through dozens of very short articles, I notice that it's entirely he-said, she-said. He called the police and told them she'd swallowed it: well, let's tell his story as fact. But later, she contradicts him: well, let's all tell it that way. Sadly, violence is always more believable, of course. But it makes me wish there was a chance of basing our public perception on something more solid.
Which is, perhaps, a tolerable segue into my own inadequately-verified comment last week. When I made reference to something I'd learned in college -- that the Mormon church (properly speaking, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints
) owned a big percentage of the orange groves in Florida. This was reinforced by a Time Magazine article from 1997
detailing the enormous wealth the church possesses, and some related commentary
. Put simply, they have a impressively strong work ethic and an equally strong tithing policy. And they've chosen to invest that wealth in line with their theology and philosophy. Orange juice is a popular substitute for alcohol as a social drink. From my own disaster-preparedness perspective, I've always been impressed with their readiness to feed each other
But, referencing 8 year old documents isn't terribly good research for something like this. I linked to the Deseret Management Company
-- perhaps I should have chose the Farm Management Company
-- as a prominent corporate holding entity for the church. I didn't link to anything more specific. In fact, information is hard to come by. The Wikipedia article
on DMC's holdings is noticeably short on hyperlinks. A recent list of holdings
is posted by "Secret Agent ex-Mormon", for whatever that's worth. A few of the more promising articles I found, such as this one
, are paid-subscription only.
All of which means: I can't back up my earlier comment. This maybe isn't as grievous a journalistic crime as some of the more famous recent scandals, but I thought I ought to cop to it. If you're at all curious
, I recommend perusing the links and making your own call.
In line with ToastyKen's comments on life imitating art I was reminded of the episode of Futurama in which Amy's cell phone is the size of a cheezy poof. [sound]
Hard to believe you would be, at this point.